From the start of the 2023 season, US sportsbooks operating within NFL stadiums will now be allowed to take bets on game days. Following a league meeting held in the final week of March, team owners in the NFL voted to allow this change. The development was first reported by The Atlantic after the meeting was concluded in Scottsdale, Aziz.
It’s worth noting that this landmark change will have far-reaching effects on sports betting in the US. In some sense, sports betting within stadiums existed before now. In states where online sports wagering is legal, many fans could bet on their mobile devices during game days at the stadium. However, the new decision taken by league owners will ensure that spectators can now visit physical sportsbooks to place bets.
Despite the interesting prospects of physical sports betting at casinos, not all states or franchises will benefit. This change primarily affects only teams located in states where sports betting is legal.
As it stands, only 33 states and Washington D.C. have legalized sports wagering, accounting for about 18 NFL franchises between them. Large states like Texas, California, and Florida are yet to legalize sports betting, and they encompass about eight NFL franchise teams.
Furthermore, only the Washington Commanders have a physical, functional sportsbook within the stadium. The stadium was opened by Fanatics in January 2023. Once the rule is fully implemented, the Washington Commanders may be the first franchise to launch NFL bets within its stadium on gamedays.
Other reputable teams like the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Arizona Cardinals have physical sportsbooks outside their building. While this seems to be a downside for the players who want to wager within premises, these sportsbooks may leverage their location to bypass the NFL gate revenue-sharing agreement.
NFL teams have typically shared their local gate revenue but with the exception of non-national revenues from team sponsorship funds. Sportsbook revenue on games involving teams has also been deemed as belonging to a shareable category.
This is because bets are placed on both the home and away teams. Under this agreement, local teams will get a share of revenue up to a certain limit, after which the rest of the revenue will be shared with the rest of the league.
According to The Athletic, new teams that go on to build sportsbooks within stadiums after the implementation of this policy will keep approximately the first $20 million in gaming revenue. Afterward, any excess cash will be pooled alongside other teams in line with the gate revenue-sharing agreement.
The following teams play their home games in states that have legalized sports betting. So, should the stadiums build sportsbooks, players will be permitted to bet in them.
Teams like the Cleveland Browns can finally change plans, moving from betting lounges to sportsbooks in NFL stadiums. This development represents one of the many ways that the NFL is accepting the reality of legalized online sports betting in the US. Besides, the move is profitable for casinos.
For instance, statistics from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Association show that Fanatics Sportsbook at FedEx Field made over $140,000 in sports betting handle in January 2023. The operator also pooled about $45,000 worth of betting revenue in only its first two months of operation. Without a doubt, the financial upward trend after the implementation of on-site sports betting will be massive.
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